An Earthworm-Like Locomotive Mechanism for Capsule Endoscopes Using PZT Actuator

PZT 구동기를 이용한 지렁이 이동방식의 캡슐형 내시경용 마이크로 로봇

  • 지창열 (한국과학기술연구원) ;
  • 박석호 (한국과학기술연구원) ;
  • 윤석진 (한국과학기술연구원) ;
  • 김병규 (한국항공대학교 항공우주 및 기계공학부) ;
  • 박장현 (한양대학교 기계공학부)
  • Published : 2006.01.01


A wireless capsule endoscope has been developed to replace the conventional endoscope. However, the commercialized capsule endoscope moves passively by peristaltic waves, which has some limitations for doctors to diagnose more thoroughly and actively. In order to solve this problem, a locomotive mechanism is proposed for wireless capsule endoscopes. Based on the tests of various actuators, a piezo actuator is selected as a micro actuator for capsule endoscope. In general, piezo actuators are known to have limited displacement with high voltage supply. In order to overcome the limitation of common piezo actuator, the impact based piezo actuator, is developed to realize long stroke up 11mm. By using the impact based piezo actuator, a prototype of an earthworm-like locomotive mechanism was developed. In addition, the proposed locomotive mechanism has engraved clamps mimicked the claw of an insect. The earthworm-like locomotive mechanism has 15 mm in diameter and 30mm under retraction stage and 41 mm under elongation stage in total length. Hollow space is allocated to comprise essential endoscope components such as a camera, a communication module, bio sensors, and a battery. For the feasibility test of proposed locomotive mechanism, a series of experiments were carried out including in-vitro tests. Based on results of the experiments, we conclude that the proposed locomotive mechanism is effective to be used for micro capsule endoscopes.


Capsule Endoscope;Earthworm-Like Locomotive Mechanism;Impact Based Piezo Actuator


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